Sunday, 19 June 2011

malaysia multilateral diplomacy


Malaysia is a member of a number of multilateral organisations including the United Nations (UN), Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC), Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Commonwealth, ASEAN, Group of Seventy Seven (G77), Developing Eight (D8), Asia Middle East Dialogue (AMED), Far East Asia Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC), Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC), Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM), Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
Multilateral diplomacy is not just important but engrained in the conduct of Malaysia’s foreign policy since the country gained its independence. Malaysia has been working actively towards a global political and socio-economic stability and security within the multilateral system.

Malaysia will therefore promote security, international law as well as development through its active participation in the international fora, especially the United Nations system and its specialised agencies.
The United Nations through its universal membership and its Charter occupies the central and indispensable role within a multilateral system of governance. Malaysia recognises the need to address the pressing social and economic needs of the developing countries and as such looks to the United Nations to advance the development agenda related to underdevelopment and the eradication of poverty.
Through Malaysia’s participation in the multilateral fora, Malaysia has voiced the belief that resolution of international conflict should be peaceful and in accordance with the United Nations and international law. Malaysia will support all initiatives aimed at strengthening the UN and multilateralism. Malaysia has played a prominent role in advancing the development agenda of the South through its leadership roles in the NAM and OIC.

The contributions that Malaysia has made during its tenure as Chairman of both these organisations have re-invigorated and re-energized these organisations. Malaysia’s initiated programmes such as the Capacity Building Programme for OIC countries and the NAM Institute for the Empowerment of Women (NIEW) should be actively pursued and encouraged.

The strengthening of South-South cooperation has in recent years developed into high level intercontinental engagements, a development that bodes well for the strengthening of solidarity and development of interdependence among developing countries in addressing common social and economic challenges. Another key aspect in this engagement is the cooperation in the technical, scientific and trade fields. The strengthening of Malaysia’s multilateral diplomacy is imperative as the issues and challenges the country faces have increased and multiplied over the decades.


The establishment of the United Nations six decades ago in the aftermath of the Second World War was a turning point in history. The destructiveness of global power struggle that engulfed the whole world pushed nation states to commit themselves to an international organisation that could reduce the propensity for another global war.
Since becoming a UN member in 1957, Malaysia has placed pre-eminent importance on the principles laid down in the UN Charter especially for the settlement of disputes through peaceful means. The UN has given equal voice to all nation states, providing Malaysia with protection through the framework of multilateralism and respect for international law and order.

Malaysia remains deeply concerned over the difference of views and complexities faced in the field of disarmament and international security. The justification made by certain states for the continued existence of weapons of mass destruction and its use as a security deterrent by some states, undermines the peaceful co-existence of states thus serves as a threat to humanity. Such excuses raise grave concern amongst peace-loving states as it poses a security threat to them and induces others to secure such weapons to arm themselves. This only serves as a formula that would lead to an arms race.
Therefore, there is now a need for renewed efforts, strategies and real commitment to resolve the current impasse in achieving complete and general disarmament of weapons of mass destruction as well as conventional weapons. For these reasons, Malaysia is committed to undertake all possible efforts to achieve a world free from weapons of mass destruction and conventional weapons.
As Malaysia moves ahead, its foreign policy will continue to place importance on the UN multilateral system and its mechanisms. Malaysia will continue to contribute to the future of this organisation.


In an ever changing global environment, the advent of conflicts and catastrophes has engendered the world community to develop the concept of human security. Conflicts and catastrophes would exacerbate into more dire conditions such as food deprivation and water supply depletion with the capacity to inflict serious ramifications on human survival and well being. Energy security has been an issue of great contention for decades.
Today, the world consumes an estimated 87 million barrels of crude oil a day and by the year 2010, the rate of consumption will reach 110 million barrels a day. The world is in an energy crisis due to sharp demands and shortage in supply leading to price hikes. The world was astounded when the price of crude oil reached its peak in July 2008 that almost plunged the global economy into a recession. Energy security will have to consider research on new renewable sources of energy.


The phenomenal economic development that the world is witnessing would exert enormous stress on nature and the environment. Climate change is a trans-national issue that requires a global response. In facing this challenge, environmental diplomacy would certainly be an important area that Malaysia needs to focus on to ensure a balance between development and the environment
Over the years, the rise in temperature due to trapped carbon dioxide and green house gases have affected the global climate. Climate change will affect the lives of people around the world. This includes access to potable water, health, food and the well being of the environment.
The adoption of the Kyoto Protocol and the subsequent UN Framework Convention on Climate Change are but a first step towards reducing the emission of harmful gases and curbing global warming. Given the circumstances, Malaysia needs to have a firm stance on the issue of climate change beyond the Kyoto Protocol. Pursuant to this objective, it is imperative that Malaysia is actively engaged in the international efforts to formulate policies based on well grounded scientific research.


Human rights has assumed greater importance over the years. Advocated resolutely since the end of World War II, the movement and belief on the significance of human rights practice have spread worldwide and it has even been adopted by the UN and documented as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). It has been an issue of both substance and of moral arguments.
Malaysia takes a holistic approach to human rights in that it views all rights as indivisible and interdependent. In Malaysia, the rights of every citizen are protected by legal provisions in the Federal Constitution, which spells out the fundamental rights of all persons, including minorities. But these rights are not absolute and are subject to, among others, public order, morality and security of the country, which is consistent with the UDHR.
While upholding the universal principles of human rights, Malaysia accentuates its human rights values which take into account the history of the country as well as the religious, social and cultural diversities of its communities. This is to ensure that the respect for social harmony is preserved and protected. The practices of human rights in Malaysia are reflections of a wider Asian value system where welfare and collective well-being of the community are more significant compared to individual rights.
Malaysia has been a staunch supporter of human rights and Malaysia participates actively in the local arena and international fora in order to demonstrate that the country has been, and will remain, truly committed towards improving its human rights system.


Terrorism and transnational organised crime are serious global concerns that have the potential to endanger the stability and security of nations as well as threaten international peace. The fight against both terrorism and transnational organised crime must be done comprehensively. It is imperative for the international community to formulate a universally accepted definition; to identify its root causes and undertake appropriate measures to remedy it; and to include acts of terror perpetrated by the State.
Malaysia condemns all acts, methods and practices of terrorism and transnational crimes. As terrorism and transnational organised crime are global phenomenon that transcends national boundaries, fighting both menaces demand effective international actions in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and universally recognized principles governing international relations and international law. Malaysia believes that the best forum to lead and coordinate those actions remains the United Nations. Malaysia participates actively in contributing/sharing information and experiences in the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) and Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) and also at regional level especially under the ASEAN Work Programme as an effort in combating terrorism and transnational organised crime.


The initiative to establish interfaith and inter-civilisation dialogues was a strong sign of the growing preoccupation at the highest political levels with the strategic importance of intercultural and inter-religious dialogue for the pursuit of peace.
The need for coordinated international action to cultivate peace resulted from events such as September 11, the Madrid attack on 11 March 2004, the bombings in London on 7 July 2005 and the recent bombings in Mumbai on 26 November 2008.
In view of the many proliferations of initiatives on interfaith and inter-civilisation, Malaysia will focus on UN-led initiatives at the international arena; the Alliance of Civilisations (AoC) and at the regional level; the Asia-Pacific Interfaith Dialogue.


ASEAN is the cornerstone of Malaysian foreign policy. It is both of geo-political significance and economic relevance to Malaysia and also to the nations within this region. Its renunciation of the use of force and promotion of peaceful settlement of disputes has been the foundation to its peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
By 2015, an Asean Community will be established. The Community is premised on the three pillars of cooperation, namely the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC).
ASEAN is determined to accelerate the full implementation of the ASEAN Community’s programme areas, measures and principles, with appropriate flexibility and at the same time recognise the importance for ASEAN Member States to adopt a balanced approach towards achieving all three pillars of the ASEAN Community.
With its dedicated Plans of Actions and Protocols, ASEAN will move closer towards its goal of building the ASEAN Community, characterized by greater political and security interaction and engagement, a single market and production base, with free flow of goods, services, capital investment and skilled labour and a caring society, focusing on social development, education and human resources development, public health, culture and information, and environmental protection.

ASEAN came out with the blueprints for the three community pillars, aimed to further strengthen cooperation and coordination among ASEAN Member States’ relevant sectoral bodies. The ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint was adopted by the ASEAN Leaders during the 13th ASEAN Summit in November 2007. Another two blueprints – the ASEAN Political-Security Community Blueprint and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint have undergone their drafting processes and are set to be adopted by the ASEAN Leaders at the 14th ASEAN Summit in Thailand.
To adapt itself to a changing regional landscape and future challenges, ASEAN came out with the ASEAN Charter. With the Charter, ASEAN will undergo transformational changes to become a rules-based organisation with legal personality. It reiterates the common principles which bind all 10 ASEAN Member States i.e. rule of law, good governance, principles of democracy and constitutional government; shared commitment and collective responsibility in enhancing regional peace, security and prosperity; and enhanced consultations on matters affecting the common interest of ASEAN


As a founding member of ASEAN, the foreign policy of Malaysia continues to emphasise on the relevance and importance of ASEAN as the forum and catalyst for regional dialogue. ASEAN Dialogue Partnerships, ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Plus Three and East Asia Summit have allowed its members to engage leading powers on issues of global and regional importance.
Pursuant to making ASEAN a more effective, closely integrated, rules-based, and people-oriented regional organisation, ASEAN Member States decided to formulate an ASEAN Charter which they eventually signed at the 13th ASEAN Summit in Singapore. The ASEAN Charter will put in place a new legal and institutional framework for ASEAN to improve its implementation, coordination, and decision making process. The Charter has come into force on 15th December 2008.


In its foreign policy strategy, Malaysia will continue to actively reaffirm its commitment and work within ASEAN to achieve peace, security and prosperity in the region. Malaysia will also continue to work together with fellow ASEAN Member States towards the establishment of the ASEAN Community by 2015. On a broader scale, ASEAN will encourage closer relations with other regional groupings on issues of common concerns and mutual benefits.

Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP)

The Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme (MTCP) was first initiated at the First Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) for Asia Pacific Region in Sydney in February 1978. It was officially launched on 7 September 1980 at the Commonwealth Heads of State Meeting in New Delhi to signify Malaysia’s commitment to South-South Cooperation, in particular Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC).

In line with the spirit of South-South Cooperation, Malaysia through the MTCP shares its development experiences and expertise with other developing countries. The MTCP was first formulated based on the belief that the development of a country depends on the quality of its human resources. The programme forms part of the commitment of the Malaysian Government towards the promotion of technical cooperation among developing countries, strengthening of regional and sub-regional cooperation, as well as nurturing collective self-reliance among developing countries.

The MTCP emphasises the development of human resources through the provision of training in various areas which are essential for a country’s development such as public administration, good governance, health services, education, sustainable development, agriculture, poverty alleviation, investment promotion, ICT and banking. More than 100 short-term specialised courses are offered by more than 50 MTCP training institutions, many of which are centres of excellence for training. Since its launching, more than 20,000 participants from 140 countries have benefited from the various programmes offered under the MTCP.

Objectives of MTCP:
  • To share development experience with other countries;
  • To strengthen bilateral relations between Malaysia and other developing countries;
  • To promote South-South Cooperation (SSC);
  • To promote technical cooperation among developing countries (TCDC).

Type of Assistance:
  • Short-term specialised courses
  • Long-term courses (Scholarships)
  • Study visits and attachments
  • Services of experts
  • Socio-economic development projects
  • Supply of equipment and materials

For more details, kindly refer MTCP Official Portal at


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